The yen jumped sharply against its peers on Monday after it slid past 160 per dollar earlier in the session, leading to speculation that Tokyo could have intervened in the currency market while the country was out for a holiday.

The Japanese currency strengthened about 2 per cent from the initial 159 per dollar level in a matter of a few minutes during Asia hours, as some traders said selling of dollars was seen onshore.

The rapid move came just a few hours after the yen tumbled to the weaker side of 160 per dollar for the first time in 34-years.

"The move has all the hallmarks of an actual BOJ intervention and what better time to do it than on a Japanese public holiday which means lower liquidity in USD/JPY and more bang for the BOJ's buck," said Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG.

The yen was last 1.7 per cent firmer at 155.73 per dollar, having hit an intra-day high of 155.01 against the dollar.

It also surged more than 1 per cent against other major currencies such as the euro, sterling and the Australian dollar.

In the broader market, Asian stocks got off to a positive start ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the week, helped by a rally in shares of Chinese property companies.

The upbeat sentiment in equities looked set to continue into Europe, with EUROSTOXX 50 futures up 0.36 per cent while FTSE futures added 0.52 per cent.

Hong Kong and China shares gained on the back of speculation that more stimulus measures are likely to be unveiled this week aimed at clearing inventory and lifting home purchase restrictions to boost sales.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index jumped 4.3 per cent while mainland China's CSI 300 Real Estate Index surged more than 7 per cent.

That helped to lift the broader Hang Seng Index up 0.9 per cent. China's blue-chip index also moved in step and jumped 1.3 per cent, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tacked on 0.9 per cent.

Nasdaq futures rose 0.4 per cent, while S&P 500 futures gained 0.28 per cent.

Still, the Fed's two-day monetary policy meeting beginning Tuesday takes centre stage for the week, where expectations are for the central bank to keep rates on hold.

Focus, however, will be on any guidance for the central bank's rate outlook, after repeated runs of stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data and still-sticky inflationary pressures derailed market bets on how soon the Fed could commence its rate easing cycle.

Market pricing shows a first Fed rate cut is expected in September, from a June start only a few weeks ago, with just over 30 basis points worth of easing expected this year.

"We've seen quite a significant repricing of rate expectations in the U.S., and that's kind of a benchmark for global interest rates," said Jarrod Kerr, chief economist at Kiwibank.

"I think the Fed this week will kind of echo those comments that rate cuts aren't as close as they had hoped."

The prospect that U.S. rates would remain in restrictive territory for longer have propped up the greenback, though it was broadly on the back foot on Monday.

Against the dollar, the euro rose 0.34 per cent to $1.0729, while sterling gained 0.38 per cent to $1.2542

The dollar index fell 0.34 per cent to 105.60, though was headed for a monthly gain of 1 per cent.

In commodities, Brent fell 0.9 per cent to $88.70 a barrel, while U.S. crude similarly edged 0.8 per cent lower to $83.17 per barrel, as news of a potential Gaza ceasefire also eased fears of supply constraints.

A Hamas delegation will visit Cairo on Monday for talks aimed at securing a ceasefire, a Hamas official told Reuters on Sunday, as mediators stepped up efforts to reach a deal ahead of an expected Israeli assault on the southern city of Rafah.

Gold dipped 0.2 per cent to $2,333.30 an ounce.